Ah, yes. Halloween. It’s that time of the year that ghosts, ghouls, witches, and Your Preferred Comic Book Hero of Choice™ take to the streets, bearing hollow plastic pumpkins and holding little old ladies hostage for their candy. Of course, if you don’t give them the goods that they demand, they’ll threaten you with the ever-ominous “trick” part of their rallying cry of, “Trick or treat!”
It’s truly a wholly terrifying experience, especially if you share a block with a dentist who thinks it’s cute to give out toothbrushes instead of candy. But do you know what the most dangerous thing out on the roads that night actually is? If you guessed candy corn, guess again. (And you can relinquish your share to me, it bothers you that much. I personally love the stuff!) It’s actually yourself, and all of the other drivers on the road.
Halloween is an amazing holiday, for both children and adults. What other time of the year can you act out your fantasy of being a superhero or a princess without being criticized? That said, as fun as All Hallows’ Eve is, it’s also an extremely dangerous day for pedestrians. In fact, researchers discovered a whopping 43% increase in pedestrian traffic fatalities on Halloween compared to other days, and young children are ten times more likely to be a victim of a deadly pedestrian accident on this day. To help keep your neighborhood kiddos safe, here are four driving tips for navigating the spooky streets on October 31st.
Drive extra slowly.
Even if you’re already a careful driver, you need to be especially careful on Halloween. Kids are more likely to dart out in front of you in pursuit of their candy and may not be paying attention. Take note of whatever the posted speed limit is in your neighborhood, and just to be prudent, go an additional five miles per hour slower.
Use your headlights.
While most families are out trick-or-treating while it’s still light out, there still may be some stragglers out and about after the sun sets. Out of consideration to these latecomers, make sure you use your headlights when driving on Halloween. Many kids are going to be dressed in dark costumes, making them harder to see.
Be extra mindful of pedestrians.
This is a given. The promise of free candy is irresistible to children and adults alike (we call it the “Parent Tax” in our household!) and they’re going to do their darndest to maximize their haul on Halloween night. Just assume that someone’s going to be crossing the street at any moment ahead of you, and stay on the watch for them.
Put your phone away.
Using your phone while driving is extremely dangerous and has been linked to over 3,000 deaths per year. While it’s still legal to talk on the phone in your car in Florida, texting is outright forbidden. That said, please don’t be the jerk that’s driving distracted when there are kids out and about. Put your phone away on Halloween. That call from Count Dracula can wait.
Here in South Florida, we know how to have a good time during the holidays. And at least we don’t have to worry about a heavy puffer jacket obscuring half of our super rad Halloween costumes, either. (Take that, Northerners!) However, to avoid a tragic traffic accident on Halloween, you have to do your part as a driver, too. Stay alert, be mindful, and drive extra carefully. Not only will you be the secret superhero you always wanted to be, you’ll also rest in peace* knowing that you did your share to keep your community safe.
*Like Halloween jokes? Here’s a bonus one for you!
What do vegan zombies eat? GRAAAAAAAINNNNSSSS.
One guaranteed fact of Halloween is that police officers will be on alert and en masse on the road throughout the whole State of Florida. Stay safe by keeping your registration up-to-date. Contact your Pompano Beach auto tag agency today to increase your odds of not getting a ticket!
Photo credit: Valeria Boltneva